The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Hawkeye football players head to combine

Alyssa Hitchcock
The Iowa kicking team huddles before the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015.

Four Iowa football standouts have been invited to compete at the 2016 NFL combine in anticipation of the NFL draft, which starts on April 28.

All four Hawkeyes were seniors in 2015: safety Jordan Lomax, center Austin Blythe, defensive end Drew Ott, and kicker Marshall Koehn.

Koehn, the ninth-ranked place kicker by CBS Sports, will be the first Hawkeye to work out at the combine. The second-team All-Big Ten kicker will go through the bench press and on-field workout with the rest of the special-team prospects today.

Koehn was good on 16-of-20 field-goal attempts in 2015, going 8-of-10 on field goals of 40 or more yards, including a 57-yarder as time expired against Pittsburgh.

Blythe will also perform in the bench press today. The second-team All-Big Ten center will then wait until Friday to complete his on-field workouts.

Blythe is rated the sixth-best center prospect in the 2016 class, according to CBS Sports, and he has drawn comparisons to Matt Paradis, who started all 16 games and won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos earlier this month. Blythe is projected as a sixth or seventh round pick by CBS Sports.

“[Blythe] played with consistency throughout his stint as a four-year starter at Iowa, and his 2015 tape is solid from start to finish,” wrote Lance Zierlein, an NFL draft analyst, on “While his lack of physical traits could hurt where he is taken in the draft, his functional strength, technical savvy, athleticism, and body control should not be ignored as he has all the makings of an eventual NFL starter.”

Lomax will be the third and final former Hawkeye to participate at the combine. He will compete in the bench press on Feb. 28 and complete his on-field workouts on Feb. 29. The 5-10 safety was a third-team All-Big Ten performer last season after recording 56 tackles, 1 interception, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 fumble recovery.

The safety was compared with Bob Sanders before the 2015 campaign by draft insider Tony Pauline and was given a second-round grade. Lomax is the 13th-ranked free safety by CBS Sports.

“[Lomax] uses his compact build and tenacious attitude to punish defenders coming into his space, but the former cornerback has the footwork to be effective in coverage as well,” said NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter.

Pauline had the same belief about the cornerback-turned-safety.

“Lomax is a Bob Sanders type, height deficient but explosive defending the run while also displaying ball skills outside the numbers,” Pauline wrote before the 2015 season.

Ott was invited to participate at the NFL combine, but he cannot compete in any drills because of elbow and knee injuries he experienced during the 2015 season. Ott has applied for a medical hardship that would give him a fifth year with the Hawkeyes, and he waits to hear from the NCAA on its ruling.

The defensive standout played through a dislocated elbow suffered against Iowa State in the second week, until a torn ACL against Wisconsin ended his season.

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